Cornish Fuel Buying Scheme To Include Scilly

Households in Scilly could soon have access to one of the country’s largest community energy buying schemes.

Anthony Ball, the Tackling Inequalities Coordinator of the PCT, told members at the recent Shadow Health and Wellbeing Meeting, that the buying co-operative, Cornwall Together, could save people up to 20% on their energy bills. They’re hoping this could tackle fuel poverty and allow homeowners to invest in energy-saving measures.

The scheme isn’t limited to domestic users – businesses and organisations can take part as well.

The initiative is set to be launched by Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change next Monday at the Eden Project, and it has the support of Cornwall Council, the NHS, St Austell Brewery and the union, Unison.

Anthony said The Isles of Scilly have even more expensive energy costs and he was keen for our islands to be part of the scheme.

The group are looking to sign up 20,000 people from across the region via a new website. Once they reach this level, they’ll negotiate with energy companies to get the best value deal. Members will be offered two tariffs, including a renewable ‘green’ energy deal.

Anthony said it won’t necessarily be the cheapest, but, because they’ll regularly renegotiate with energy suppliers, it should be lower over the long term, especially as people tend not to switch their own supplier that often.

Maureen Carter said many people in Scilly use solid fuel, oil and gas. And Councillor Dudley Mumford said propane gas can cost in the region of £75 a bottle here and that’s one of the causes of fuel poverty on the islands.

Anthony said they were hoping to launch an oil buying scheme soon and people in Scilly will be able to participate. However, he didn’t provide details on how that would operate here.

He said propane is more difficult because of the way the market operates.

10% of money generated by the scheme will go to fund fuel poverty work in the region. Anthony said it’s the first time this has been done on a county-wide basis – previous schemes were done on a smaller, village or town, level.

Councillor David Pearson said he would seriously consider signing up adding, “it’s a no-brainer going into a community project rather than feeding the bonuses of directors.”

The website for signing up is www.cornwalltogether.com